radio / Encounter

Join host Carol Castiel each week as she and two advocates from the world of politics, public policy, or academia discuss and debate a critical issue in the news, bringing depth, perspective, and insight to the world around us. Issues that affect our lives and global stability are debated in a free-wheeling, unscripted discussion of fact and opinion.

January 09, 2015


GOP CONGRESS AGENDA Host Carol Castiel talks with John Fortier, Director of the Democracy Project at the Bi-Partisan Policy Center and Arkadi Gerney, Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress, about the legislative agenda of the 114th Congress and whether or not divided government will produce more gridlock or provide opportunities for compromise with the Democratic White House.

January 04, 2015


FOREIGN POLICY 2015 Host Carol Castiel talks with Anthony Clark Arend, Professor of Government and Foreign Service and Ambassador Mark Lagon, President of Freedom House, about the major foreign policy and national security challenges facing President Barack Obama in his final term such as US-Cuba relations, Iran nuclear talks, and the fight against the so-called Islamic State, and to what extent the Republican controlled Congress will either help or hinder his agenda.

December 26, 2014


HIGHLIGHTS IN 2014 On this special edition of Encounter --- excerpts from discussions about key international and domestic stories in 2014. From Boko Haram in Nigeria, to the rise of the so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, to the high stakes nuclear talks with Iran, to Sino-US relations, to the controversial debate over capital punishment in America, host Carol Castiel brings you highlights from Encounter in 2014.

December 19, 2014


US SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT ON CIA TORTURE. P. J. Crowley, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, now a fellow at George Washington University, and Steven Groves, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation, spar over the timing, methodology, content and lessons learned from the controversial Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report about the CIA’s program of harsh interrogation and detention in the aftermath of 9-11, as well as ramifications for US policy going forward.

December 12, 2014


AFTER FERGUSSON PART II Elsie Scott, Howard University’s Founding Director of the Ron W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center and Malik Aziz, Chairman of the National Black Police Association, discuss with host Carol Castiel how the grand jury decisions not to charge the white police officers in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases and the protests they sparked mark a major turning point in the United States which will require serious reforms to the grand jury system, concerted efforts to diversify the make-up of local police forces, more judicial use of deadly force, and greater community participation in local politics, among many other reforms/changes.

December 05, 2014


AFTER FERGUSON PART I Sam Fulwood III, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Andrew Ferguson, Associate Professor of Law at the University of The District of Columbia, discuss with host Carol Castiel how the deaths of two black men—one in Ferguson, Missouri and one in New York City---and the respective grand jury decisions not to indict the white police officers involved, have triggered a debate about the use of excessive force by local police as well as racial profiling in America.

November 28, 2014


IMMIGRATION REFORM - OBAMA EXECUTIVE ORDER John Fortier, Political Scientist and Director of the Democracy Project at The Bipartisan Policy Center and Igor Volsky, Managing Editor of at the Center for American Progress discuss with host Carol Castiel the politics and substance of President Obama’s recent unilateral action on immigration, the implications for the Latino community, and what the likely response will be from the incoming Republican-controlled Congress.

On the go? Subscribe to a Podcast of the show
We Want To Hear From You

Please contact us via email, letter, Facebook or Twitter! Follow the links below and tell us what you think of guests, our recent shows and who you would like us to interview in the future.
Postal Mail:
Voice of America - PCUSA
Washington, D.C. 20237 USA

And follow our host Carol Castiel on Twitter:

Carol Castiel is also the host of  Press Conference USA and co-produces Issues in the News with Ania Zalewski at the Voice of America.
Broadcast Schedule
Encounter is broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays. You can also listen to us via affiliate stations in your area. Check your local radio station guide for more information.
  • Saturdays: 0330 0930 1430 1800 and 2330 UTC
  • Sundays:   0530  1230 1730 1930 UTC
This Week's Featured Video: Host Carol Castiel talks to Georgetown University Professors Ambassador Mark Lagon and  Professor Tony Arend about the US foreign policy priorities for 2014.    (January 5, 2014)

Carol Castiel

Meet Our Host
As Director of Current Affairs Programming in VOA's English Division, Carol Castiel is responsible for producing Press Conference USA, Encounter, and Issues in the News.  Carol moderates and produces Press Conference USA and Encounter. She also oversees the production of Issues in the News, VOA’s roundup of the week’s top stories by distinguished Washington journalists.

Before joining the Voice of America, Carol was a consultant/freelance journalist specializing in the promotion of trade and investment between the United States and Africa. She was also a contributing editor to the London-based West Africa Magazine. Carol is fluent in Portuguese, French, and Spanish. She holds an M.A. degree in International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

Other Current Affairs Programs:

Issues in the news -Prominent Washington correspondents discuss topics making headlines around the world.

Press conference Host Carol Castiel and other panelists interview bestselling authors, analysts, politicians, U.S. government officials, ambassadors and foreign heads of state about critical issues facing the U.S. and the world.

Watch Our Video

Host Carol Castiel talks to Georgetown University Professors Ambassador Mark Lagon and Professor Tony Arend about U.S. foreign policy priorities for 2015.  (January 4, 2015)